I recommend, first, that if you haven’t read yesterday’s post on the infusion of progressive ideology into the Freedom From Religion Foundation (Saturday is a slow day here), do so.
Welcome to the goyische cat Sabbath: Sunday, November 13, 2022, and it’s a great food day—National Indian Pudding Day. This molasses-and-cornmeal based dessert, earthy in flavor and best topped with vanilla ice cream that melts on the warm pudding, is hard to find, but I love it above nearly all American desserts. You used to be able to get it at the Durgin-Park Restaurant in Boston, but they closed for good (a terrible loss). Now I hear you can get it at the nearby Union Oyster House near the Government Center Stop on the Green Line. Here’s a photo and a link to a good recipe:
It’s also National Pupusa Day (an El Salvadorian corn pancake usually filled with meat) Sadie Hawkins Day , taken from the comic strip “Li’l Abner” (click to read about it), World Kindness Day, and International Tongue Twister Day. Here are a few I’ve found:
Polish: Przeleciały trzy pstre przepiórzyce przez trzy pstre kamienice. (Three spotted quails flew through three spotted tenement houses.) Click to hear the pronunciation.
French: Le cricri de la crique crie son cri et critique car il craint que l’escroc ne le croque et ne le craque. (The cicaa of the cove shouts its cry and criticizes because he fears that the sammer will eat him and break him.)
German: Der dicke Dachdecker deckt Dir dein Dach, drum dank dem dicken Dachdecker, dass der dicke Dachdecker Dir Dein Dach deckte. (The fat roofer tiles your roof, so thank the fat roofer, that the fat roofer tiled your roof.)
Readers are welcome to mark notable events, births, or deaths on this day by consulting the November 13 Wikipedia page.
BIG NEWS!!!!! EXTRA!!!!! Headline from the NYT (click to read).
Democrats sealed control of the Senate on Saturday as Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada narrowly defeated Adam Laxalt, a Republican former state attorney general, a decisive moment in an extraordinary midterm election in which Democrats defied historical patterns and predictions of major losses.
Control of the House has still not been decided, several days after an Election Day that fell short of predictions that Republicans would sweep to power in Washington in a repudiation of President Biden’s leadership. Though Republicans still have an edge in capturing the House, their majority would certainly be small.
*(I wrote this bit yesterday evening.) I want you to remember that, just a I called the last election down to the precise electoral vote, I’m predicting that the Senate will be taken by the Democrats with a Dem/Gop ratio of 51/49, for I think that in Nevada, Dem Catherine Masto will beat GOP opponent Adam Laxalt (that alone will guarantee Democratic control of the Senate), and that in December’s runoff election in Georgia, Herschel “I didn’t pay” Walker will be defeated by Democrat Raphael Warnock.
I also predict (duh) that the GOP will take the House, but it looks like a slim margin, with yesterday evening’s count being 211 Republicans and 201 Democrats elected, with 218 needed to win. I am not predicting exact counts here, though.
In Nevada, Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat and the first Latina elected to the Senate, was narrowing the gap with her Republican challenger, Adam Laxalt, a former state attorney general.
. . . Here’s what else to know today:
The Republican candidate for Arizona governor, Kari Lake, fell further behind her Democratic opponent, Katie Hobbs, in vote totals released by Maricopa County on Friday night. But with more than 200,000 votes outstanding in Maricopa, her 31,000-vote deficit remained potentially surmountable.
In Arizona’s secretary of state race, Adrian Fontes, a Democrat, defeated Mark Finchem, according to The Associated Press. Mr. Finchem had begun casting unfounded doubts on this year’s elections as it appeared that he might lose.
In a bright spot for Republicans, the governor’s race in Nevada was called on Friday night, with the Clark County sheriff, Joseph Lombardo, ousting Gov. Steve Sisolak.
It could take weeks to settle the electoral fate of one of the most polarizing members of the House: Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a far-right provocateur known for heckling President Biden during his State of the Union speech, carrying a gun on Capitol Hill and defying mask rules.
I would be SO happy if Boebert lost. I mean, our Representatives are supposed to have some functioning neurons, not a Glock on their hips. These dumb-asses are an embarrassment to America.
*And speaking of Her Glockness, she’s ahead, but barely:
It could take weeks to settle the electoral fate of one of the most polarizing members of the House: Representative Lauren Boebert of Colorado, a far-right provocateur known for heckling President Biden during his State of the Union speech, carrying a gun on Capitol Hill and her defiance of mask rules.
Ms. Boebert, who is in her first term, was leading her challenger Adam Frisch, a Democrat, by less than 1,200 votes in the state’s Third Congressional District race as of Friday, with 95 percent of the votes counted, according to The Associated Press.
Mr. Frisch, a businessman and former Aspen, Colo., city councilman, had jumped out to an early lead in the seesaw contest, one that has garnered widespread attention.
As votes continue to come in, depending on the margin, it is possible there could be a recount in the race, in western Colorado. In an email on Friday, Annie Orloff, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state in Colorado, said the regular process has to play itself out, however, before a recount could be considered.
After a sample of ballots are audited, if the candidates differ by less than half a percent, then there must be a full recount, which must be completed by December 15.
Here’s Boebert’s speech after she won the Republican primary. Note that she’s packing heat:
*According to the Washington Post, Republicans are freaking out about their narrowing lead in the House. They’re surely not going to win as big as predicted, but they’ll win. It’s not enough:
The narrowing path for Republican victory has stunned lawmakers from both parties, freezing plans for legislation and leadership maneuvers as they wait to see who takes control and learn the margins that will dictate which ideological factions wield power. Regardless of the outcome, the lack of a “red wave” marks a devastating outcome for Republicans, who believed they would cruise to a large governing majority in the House and possibly flip the Senate.
The GOP faces a small but real prospect that it may not reclaim the House majority despite high pre-election hopes based on the disapproval of President Biden, record inflation and traditional losses for the party that holds the White House.
. . .Outgoing Rep. Peter Meijer (R-Mich.) told The Washington Post he knew the evening of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol that the GOP would have a difficult time proving to voters they should be in the majority in two years.“By midnight on January 6, it was obvious that if we continued to sleepwalk down the path of crazy we’d face a rude awakening,” he said. “Instead of facing those facts, the GOP spent the last two years heading in the same direction and actively avoiding any internal reckoning. After Tuesday, we have no choice but to heed voters when they say that ‘the grass is green, the sky is blue, and by the way, you just got your ass handed to you.’ But waking up to that reality is going to be rough.”
*This Friday is the date that Theranos grifter Elizabeth Holmes will be sentenced, since the judge rejected several of her requests for a new trial. And though she could face 80 years in prison (20 for each of four wire fraud counts), the prosecutors have recommended a lighter sentence. But it’s still one that, if the judge accepts it, will keep her in jail for nearly a decade. Her lawyers, damn their hides, are painting her as a victim:
Federal prosecutors are asking a judge to sentence Elizabeth Holmes to 15 years in prison and require the Theranos founder to pay $800m in restitution, according to court documents filed on Friday.
A jury found Holmes guilty in January of four counts of investor fraud and conspiracy. Her sentencing is scheduled for 18 November, and she faces a maximum 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors argued that “considering the extensiveness of Holmes’s fraud”, their recommended sentencing would “reflect the seriousness of the offenses, provide for just punishment for the offenses, and deter Holmes and others”.
Holmes’s lawyer argued in documents filed on Thursday that the ex-Theranos boss should not be sentenced to prison at all and, at most, should receive 18 months of house arrest. The court filings argued that Holmes had been made a “caricature to be mocked and vilified” by the media over the years, though she is a caring mother and friend.
“Ms Holmes is no danger to the public,” Holmes’s lawyer said in the court documents. “She has no criminal history, has a perfect pretrial services compliance record, and is described by the people who know her repeatedly as a gentle and loving person who tries to do the right thing.”
. . . “Ms Holmes will never be able to seek another job or meet a new friend without the negative caricature acting as a barrier,” her lawyers argued.
That made me laugh. Home confinement and possible ostracism is enough punishment?!
*I showed a video of this the other day, but now it’s out as a scientific paper in PLOS ONE (I love the title: “In the line of fire: Debris throwing by wild octopuses”), and also as a popular summary in the NYT. Octopuses throw stuff at each other!
It turns out that the urge to hurl something at an irritating neighbor is not confined to land animals. A study published on Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE shows that octopuses of at least one species throw silt and shells, sometimes at one another. It’s a rare behavior in the animal kingdom, and the study is the first time it has been documented in octopuses.
While octopuses are intelligent, most species live largely solitary lives. But in Jervis Bay, Australia, unusually large numbers of one species — Octopus tetricus, better known as the gloomy octopus — gather at sites affectionately nicknamed Octopolis and Octlantis. Ideal denning conditions and abundant food attract the antisocial animals and force them into close quarters, where it’s common for them to poke, prod, grab and otherwise annoy one another. And that exasperation can lead to the deployment of projectiles as a potential manner of cephalopod conflict resolution.
. . . Though the researchers call the octopuses’ actions “throws,” Jervis Bay is not like a dodge ball court populated by eight-armed players; only in one case did an octopus fling a shell by straightening its arm the way a human would. There isn’t really a word for what the gloomy octopus does, Dr. Godfrey-Smith said. For instance, if an animal feels provoked by its neighbor, it will gather silt from the seafloor underneath its body and hold it there. When ready to fire, the thrower positions its siphon — the tubular organ used to pump water for swimming — underneath its body, which the study authors describe as an unusual stance. Then it will violently expel water to push the debris outward.
They are apparently trying to hit another conspecific rather than just discarding debris.
That these octopuses apparently throw projectiles at each other puts them in an exclusive group. Animals ranging from elephants to antlions throw things, but only some social mammals — including, of course, humans — aim at members of the same species. Gloomy octopuses can now be added to this list.
Here’s what you want to see: the antagonistic throwing:
*From reader Ken: “Twitter wags have been having some fun with Elon Musk’s new blue check mark policy with parody accounts. See, for example, the posts below”:
Meanwhile in Dobrzyn, Hili is enigmatic, but you’ll have to guess what she’s talking about:
Hili: I read today about reasons for parting.Paulina: Who’s parting with whom?Hili: It doesn’t matter, what’s important is to be well informed.(Photo: Paulina)
Hili: Czytałam dziś o powodach rozstania.Paulina: Kogo z kim?Hili: Nie ma znaczenia, ważne, żebyśmy byli dobrze poinformowani.(Zdjęcie: Paulina)
From Malcolm: a short history of life:
God is still angry at Elon Musk:
I'm not a parody account. You're a parody species.
— God (Not a Parody, Actually God) (@TheTweetOfGod) November 12, 2022
From Masih: more Iranian women defying the government:
Every night in big and small towns Iranian women are engaging in civil disobedience. This woman is walking unveiled in the town of Saveh. Say hi to our revolution. We’re coming in full force. We will take back Iran from the ayatollahs. #MahsaAmini pic.twitter.com/6xHoJBfuPQ
— Masih Alinejad 🏳️ (@AlinejadMasih) November 11, 2022
From Simon: The tough Ukrainian cats of Kherson impede the Russian retreat:
Another important reason why the advance of Ukrainian forces to Kherson has slowed down a bit.
(English subtitles) pic.twitter.com/Za9znV1nMB
— Special Kherson Cat 🐈🇺🇦 (@bayraktar_1love) November 12, 2022
From Barry: a mutualism between bird and mammal (bird uses fur to make nest)
Birds picks molting fur off a deer at the end of winter.pic.twitter.com/RMzxlZ8tM0
— Fascinating (@fasc1nate) October 27, 2022
An evil cat from Malcolm, click on second tweet with sound up:
Best cat ever! pic.twitter.com/oSKQcL06Lu
— Terminateur🇲🇦 (@lardess84) November 9, 2022
From the Auschwitz Memorial, with the grim words, “she did not survive.”
13 November 1923 | A Dutch Jewish woman, Charlotte Content, was born in Amsterdam.
— Auschwitz Memorial (@AuschwitzMuseum) November 13, 2022
Tweets from Matthew:
I think this is meiosis rather than mitosis because there are recombinant cats:
is this mitosis? pic.twitter.com/8Nncp7h66D
— Tweets of Cats (@TweetsOfCats) November 11, 2022
The hippo better not hurt those ducklings:
Timothy the hippo is very interested in the ducklings that moved into his pool! 🦛❤️🐥 pic.twitter.com/entmGlYePr
— San Antonio Zoological Society 🦏 (@SanAntonioZoo) November 1, 2022
Look at those old Fifties cars!
Wonderful colour film of NEW YORK in the 1950’s.
— Michael Warburton (@MichaelWarbur17) October 30, 2022